Richard Ben-Veniste - Quotes

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Gerald R. Ford was a decent and honorable man. Under his steady hand, the nation began the process of recovering from the terrible trauma of Watergate - the lies, distortions, cover-ups, misuses of federal agencies to exact political revenge, illegal wiretapping, burglaries. ---->>>

Were there contacts over time between Iraq and al-Qaeda? Yes, there were efforts made to communicate. We found no evidence of collaboration in any effort to mount any kind of operation against the United States' interests. ---->>>

Well, changes have been made. The question is whether we've done enough by way of change. ---->>>

Our mandate expects that we will build on the Joint Inquiry's investigation and we will not be re-inventing the wheel. But we go to places which the Joint Inquiry was not permitted to explore. ---->>>

The real question was, here we had this information, Bin Laden intends to strike in the United States. We knew they had struck before in 1993 at the World Trade Center in the first bombing of the trade center. ---->>>

When Richard M. Nixon resigned and Ford became the 38th president of the United States, the Watergate Special Prosecutor's Office, of which I was a member, was preparing for the criminal trials of Nixon's top aides - H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and John Mitchell. ---->>>

Without the tape-recorded evidence demonstrating irrefutably, in Nixon's own voice, his knowledge of and active involvement in obstruction of justice, it is likely that Nixon would have escaped impeachment and removal from office. ---->>>

I like Harvey Keitel. I liked him in 'Mean Streets.' I'm a fan. ---->>>

No connection between Iraq and the 9/11 catastrophe. ---->>>

Only the last two planes, I think, had any shot of being intercepted and taken down on 9/11. ---->>>

And it turned out that the Roberts Commission did not fully utilize the information available and that it came to conclusions which were I think quite short sighted and, indeed, in some cases, scapegoated individuals. ---->>>

We've had public hearings. We've had interim reports, which our statute has encouraged us to provide to the public. We have brought the public along with us, trying to make as much available as possible over time. ---->>>

At bottom, the decision to pardon Nixon was a political judgment properly within the bounds of Ford's constitutional authority. The specter of a former president in the criminal dock as our country moved into its bicentennial year was profoundly disturbing. ---->>>

Well, our position, and our chairman has talked about this extensively, is that we had a lot of intelligence prior to 9/11. We knew that two al Qaeda operatives who ultimately participated in the 9/11 disaster were in the United States. We didn't find them. ---->>>

Well, our statute provides us with authority to conduct a very broad inquiry basically to provide an investigation of 9/11 that's thorough, complete and will withstand the scrutiny of history. ---->>>

With respect to the FBI, they had problems communicating in a vertical way, within the FBI itself, so that information of importance could get pushed up to those who were decision-makers. ---->>>

It was not easy to get all my questions answered, frankly. ---->>>

But as I said to Dr. Rice following her testimony, and I think she appreciated it, we had our job to do and we did it best we could, trying to get answers to the important questions that the 9/11 Commission must answer. ---->>>

In an age when many of our citizens casually reveal information about themselves in social media wildly beyond anything imaginable only a decade ago, it would seem to be a useful exercise in civics to re-educate the public about the value and purpose of protecting against unwarranted government intrusion. ---->>>

So we knew their intentions were to strike in the United States. We also knew from other sources of dozens of examples of where the notion of using planes as weapons was discussed. ---->>>

We've got a daunting enough task to provide a definitive account of what happened in 9/11, without fear or favor, something that will last and will survive criticism over time. And we think we can do that with integrity in a bipartisan report. ---->>>

Well, our concern has to do with the period prior to 9/11, up to and including the catastrophe that occurred. And thank goodness, we're not obliged to make assessments of what's going on now and deal with these current events. ---->>>

While I do not believe Ford was wrong to pardon Nixon, the timing of the pardon was premature and may have cost Ford the margin of victory in the 1976 election. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: American
Born: 01-03, 1943
Birthplace:
Die:
Occupation: Lawyer
Website:

Richard Ben-Veniste (born January 3, 1943), is an American lawyer. He first rose to prominence as a special prosecutor during the Watergate scandal. He has also been a member of the 9/11 Commission. He is known for his pointed questions and criticisms of members of both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations (wikipedia)